Drug Industry Influence In Psychiatry

A very good interview, entitled appropriately enough, A Question of Ethics, on the dangers of the pharmaceutical kickbacks in the psychiatric field can be found on Medscape Today. The person being interviewed is a Dr. Amy Brodkey, adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Brodkey is also on the board of No Free Lunch, a nonprofit organization that encourages a greater distance between physicians and the drug industry.

Industry funds 60%-80% of all CME [Continued Medical Education] activities. CME is often put together by medical education and communication companies (MECC), most of which are for-profit companies that have as their explicit goal to increase industry profits. Many are credentialed to offer ACCME [Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education]-accredited programs.

As Dr. Brodkey points out, the drug industry has no business educating people as that’s a job for educators.